Entertainment for the Recovery Community

Hundreds of books have been written to help people in recovery navigate twelve-step programs. Salish Ponds Press does not publish any of them.

Recovering people and those who associate with them are are taught "to place principles before personalities." It is the personalities, however, who make the recovery process both so maddening and so entertaining. Salish Ponds books celebrate the personalities. In them you meet the drunks, the counselors, the street people, the professionals, the jokers and the thieves who gather in places where recovery happens. If the novels are instructive it is purely accidental. If any of the stories are true, it is the kind of truth that can only be uttered in fiction.

The Duke of Morrison Street

by Orrin Onken

Book Cover

Leopold Larson is back practicing law again, and the Oregon State Bar is not happy about it. This time he is sober, doing probate law, and getting his slips signed at a little storefront place that isn't listed in the regular directory of AA groups. It is tough AA where nobody holds hands and nobody ever says, "My name is whatever, and I'm an alcoholic." Into Leo's office walks Daisy Twill, the beautiful, buxom, hot dog vendor who could be an heiress or a killer or both. The search for Daisy's inheritance and her father, the Duke of Morrison Street, leads Leo to the earliest days of AA in Portland, to an offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous offering a lot more than sobriety, and into a showdown with the most powerful law firm in the city. To survive the case and keep his license he will need all his legal skills, a little luck, and a helping hand from a ragtag bunch of inner city alcoholics.

Read the First Chapter  Online

Fiction - 298 Pages
$15.00 (Kindle Edition $3.99)
ISBN 978-0-9824564-0-8
Order From Amazon
Order from Creatspace, (a subsidiary of Amazon, but Salish Ponds gets more of the money)
Also avaible from Powells and Barnes and Noble

Malady Manor

by Orrin Onken

Book Cover

The treatment center had a real name but everybody who went there called it Malady Manor. It was the kind of place where medicine, insurance coverage, and addiction meet to argue. For one disgraced lawyer it is a second chance at life. He had barely survived his alcoholism, and now he has to survive recovery. Malady Manor is the story of how a cynical, atheist, ex-lawyer gets through the sense and nonsense of addiction treatment. Desperate for answers, yet highly skeptical that they can be found in the numbing routine of addiction treatment, he slogs through the program, the counselors and the psychobabble. His oasis in the recovery desert is other addicts; people just as scared and screwed up as he is. The story is both his own and the story of every person who has found him or herself facing the ceiling at night from the lumpy mattress of residential drug and alcohol treatment. If you are going there, or have been there, or simply want an evening of fun learning what it is like, Malady Manor is for you.

Read First Two Chapters of Malady Manor on line.

Order Through CreateSpace
ISBN 978-0-9824564-1-7
Order Through Amazon
Fiction - 216 Pages
$15,00 (Kindle Edition $3.99)

The Alcoholic in Detective Fiction

The literary novel is not dead . . . it is resting. Until it wakes up, people have to read something, and for a lot of us that  is detective fiction. A person doesn't have to work too hard at detective novels. The problems presented in detective fiction are all subject to rational solution and you can count on  finding that solution some time before the final page. The detective--a moral knight in less than shining armor--sallies forth to defend the innocent and drag the guilty to the natural consequences of their evil deeds. What could be more comforting?

Fictional detectives tend to drink. Some are responsible drinkers. Sue Grafton's Lindsey Millhone with her occasional glass of white wine is one of those. Some detectives are hard drinkers. Robert Parker's Spenser comes to mind. Some detectives are drunks. C.W. Sughrue qualifies in Crumley's drinking classic, The Last Good Kiss. And some detectives are alcoholics.

The difference between a drunk and an alcoholic is that alcoholic's have to go to meetings. Or at least they know they should be going to meetings. Alcoholics love drunks, but drunks don't like alcoholics much--mostly because alcoholics make drunks think  they ought to be going to meetings.

Alcoholic detectives run the gamut of recovery. Jack Taylor, in Ken Bruen's, The Guards, sees meetings in his future, but hasn't arrived yet. Dave Robicheaux, in James Lee Burke's series regularly attends  meetings on route to dethroning the evil doers. The full range  appears in Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder. In When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes, Scudder pursues his alcoholic bottom and the bad guys with equal noir intesity. In later volumes he gets sober, relpases and eventually finds some peace in AA.

Alcoholics are moralists and romantics. They await a world in which the evil are punished, the good are rewarded, and life's problems have solutions. They know a world like that will never arrive, but they wait for it anyway because the alternative is unthinkable. Noir fiction, with its troubled heroes, its damaged victims, and its grimy reality, make the wait a little easier. Detective novels are romances for people don't know how to be romantic, and until the literary novel awakes, detective novels will do just fine.

Orrin Onken

Orrin Onken

Orrin Onken is the owner of Salish Ponds Press. He also writes the books, keeps the accounts, proofreads the drafts, and sweeps up around the office. For this reason, the books aren't that good, the accounts don't balance, the publications have typos, and the office is a mess. 

    When Orrin isn't goofing around around with Salish Ponds press he practices law in Fairview, Oregon. In the picture above he is wearing his lawyer clothes. When he is being a lawyer, he acts serious and professional.

If you are so desperate for Orrin's writing that you are willing to read about Oregon elder law, guardianships, conservatorships, probate, estate planning and Medicaid check our his Oregon Elder Law Blog.